In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, here are some tips for instilling some great dental habits in your children.
- Get them started early—As soon as children have teeth, they can have regular “happy visits” so they can get comfortable at the dentist office. They can take a ride in the chair, let the dentist or hygienist count their teeth and, most importantly, visit the treasure box! You can ask any questions you have as a parent and help them perceive the dentist office as a happy, fun place.
- Buy them an electric toothbrush—Even though there are ages on the electric toothbrushes for kids, it’s simply a matter of them getting used to it. Train them early and that is all they’ll know. They will brush better, longer and get into a good lifelong habit. Our lead Hygienist, Katie, said her daughter has been using an electric toothbrush as soon as she had teeth.
- If you have dental anxiety, leave the kids at home. Even if you are trying to set a good example, they may subconsciously pick up on your anxiety and equate it with their dental experience.
- Reward good behavior with something other than food—If you reward your child who had a good dental visit with candy, you are sending mixed messages. The dentist probably just talked to them about limiting candy, soda and juice so it is better to reward them with verbal praise or a sticker/treasure box item instead.